Philippines

Philippines: Tulunan, North Cotabato, Earthquakes Situation Report No. 1

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Situation Report
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This report is produced by OCHA Philippines in collaboration with humanitarian partners. It covers the period from 11 November to 20 November 2019.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • More than 326,800 people are affected and in need of assistance after three earthquakes between 16-31 October struck an area of 25 kilometres southeast of the municipality of Tulunan in North Cotabato province.

  • 23,000 homes are destroyed and 15,000 partially damaged, mostly in the municipalities of Makilala and Tulunan.

  • Priority needs are in the areas of protection, shelter/CCCM, WASH, health and emergency education.

  • Displacement in most affected areas is anticipated to continue for at least one year.

  • The Government is leading the response with the Mindanao Humanitarian Team (MHT) augmenting efforts in key priority areas.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

On the morning of 29 October 2019, an earthquake of 6.6-magnitude at a depth of seven kilometres struck an area 25 kilometres southeast of the municipality of Tulunan in North Cotabato province, with another 6.5-magnitude earthquake occurring in the same vicinity on 31 October at a shallow depth of two kilometres. Both earthquakes were tectonic in origin, with each event followed by small to strong aftershocks. These two earthquakes were preceded by an earlier 6.3-magnitude earthquake recorded in the same epicentre location of Tulunan on 16 October. The earthquakes caused ground shaking and soil liquefaction followed by multiple landslides and debris flows, in particular in mountainous areas, as well as flooding of several barangays (villages) as the result of damaged dikes. Many locations that were struck belong to the most underdeveloped and conflict-affected areas of the Philippines.

As of 19 November, more than 326,800 people affected are in need of assistance. The most severely affected provinces are Davao del Sur and North Cotabato. The earthquakes triggered substantial displacements as a result of destroyed, damaged or unsafe homes. More than 45,800 people are currently staying in evacuation centres, and around 59,000 are staying with host families. The municipality of Makilala in North Cotabato has been hit the hardest, with over 100,000 people affected, of which many are currently staying in makeshift shelters or open grounds. The number of reported casualties, people affected and damages to homes and infrastructures is expected to increase, as assessments are ongoing and the full impact of the earthquakes is being verified.

As of 19 November, over 23,000 homes are destroyed and 15,000 partially damaged, mostly in the municipalities of Makilala and Tulunan in North Cotabato. Evacuated families are concerned that their houses are structurally compromised. Many are staying in makeshift shelters next to their homes or in nearby open spaces such as roadsides, which exposes them to monsoon rains, hail storms, health and protection concerns. Because of the risks posed by additional landslides and damaged buildings, the entire population of eight barangays in Makilala had to be evacuated and moved to evacuation sites after the third earthquake. Considering the nature of the disaster and the structural damage to buildings and infrastructure, displacement in many affected areas is anticipated to continue for at least one year.

On 11 November, displaced families in two camps in Makilala had to be relocated when a hailstorm destroyed makeshift shelters and tents. According to the Philippines Weather Agency, up to three tropical cyclones might affect the Philippines until the end of the year, highlighting the urgent need to provide more sturdy shelter to affected families.

On 18 November, Central Mindanao was hit by another earthquake with the epicentre located near Kadingilan in the province of Bukidnon. The 5.9-magnitude earthquake was felt strongly in surrounding provinces, including previously affected areas of North Cotabato and Davao del Sur, but no major damages have been reported.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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